Western powers walk legal tightrope with Syria strikes

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On April 7, several media outlets, citing Syrian militants, accused Damascus of carrying out a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma, located in Eastern Ghouta.

Trump has slammed Russian Federation for its partnership with "Gas Killing Animal" Assad, spurring concerns that a USA strike could lead to a conflagration with Russian Federation, which has major military facilities at Tartus and Khmeimim and works cheek-by-jowl with Syria forces that could be targeted.

Biological samples from the area of the alleged chemical attack in Syria have tested positive for chlorine and a sarin-like nerve agent, according to a U.S. official familiar with the USA analysis of the test results. "You don't have to be partners with animals that kill their people and take pleasure in it!" he said.

His latest tweet, on Thursday evening, said: "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place".

The use of chemical weapons is a war crime.

"I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence", he said, indicating that a decision is yet to be made.

During his testimony, Mattis spoke about a possible strike against Syria.

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But Moscow, Syria's main backer in the seven-year civil war, immediately demanded an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, saying the Western powers had violated "the U.N. charter and the norms and principles of worldwide law". Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration will follow whatever laws and regulations were necessary for any actions that it takes.

A French frigate, UK Royal Navy submarines laden with cruise missiles and the USS Donald Cook, an American destroyer equipped with Tomahawk land attack missiles have all moved into range of Syria's sun-bleached coast.

In response, Trump tweeted that while Russian Federation vowed to protect Syria against attack, "Get ready Russian Federation, because [attacks] will be coming, nice and new and "smart!"

"It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that", said Trump, as Defense Secretary James Mattis headed to the West Wing to present options for a retaliatory strike.

Russian Federation has been involved in the Syrian conflict since 2015 and became Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally in the war against armed opposition groups.

In Paris, France's Emmanuel Macron upped the pressure on Moscow by stating he had "proof" that the Assad's regime had used chemical weapons, and vowing a response "at a time of our choosing". In a statement, Senator Bernie Sanders said Trump has no legal authority for broadening the war in Syria. The fact-finding mission of the OPCW is to start their work in Douma on Saturday.

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